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Drawn to Life is a collection of lectures from long-time Disney animator Walt Stanchfield. He has worked for Disney since the 1950s.

There are two volumes, each with over 400 pages. The reason for two volumes is probably to make the books easier to handle. Both are on gesture and life drawing, even though the cover art might suggest otherwise, especially the one with the lion. You can start reading from any book and any lecture. The order isn't important.

There are plenty of essays in the books. Each is a lesson relating to drawing and animation. It can be tangent drawings, creating believable characters, learning to observe, understanding gestures, etc. There are tips on almost anything relating to drawing. Loose and sketchy sketches serves as examples to the lessons.

These books are more thinking than drawing technique books. For example, the lessons are not about how to draw perspective, the lessons are about how to use perspective. You can view sample pages for volume one and volume two on to get an idea.

The books represent a tremendous wealth of information and insight into drawing, animation and observation. After all, Walt Stanchfield has more than 50 years of experience in animation.

This book is recommended to those who are into animation and drawing.

There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.
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on 21 March 2010
I bought both volumes and after much thought, I believe these two books to be the best books in my entire collection on drawing (which is quite large!).

I also realized that, if my house were on fire, I would return to my room to retrieve these books. They are that brilliant.

The language and accompanied diagrams make you feel like you are sitting in a magnificent lecture. I find myself taking breaks after a few pages to try and comprehend the jam-packed content and knowledge.

You will love it.
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on 7 April 2015
First class value for money in every respect. Instructional, entertaining, enlightening. After just one day of owning this super book I've already experienced several 'ah ha!' moments, 'wow's!' and numerous giggles too! Wish I had known of this book before, it's an excellent source of instruction for the new beginner artist, as well as the more advanced.
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on 9 February 2014
These thoughtful little pages transform all kinds of drawing tips, theory's and techniques from the thing you should do into ones you cant wait to try. If you are looking for a inspirational read befor a long day designing, drawing or studying art, treat yourself you wont regret it.
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on 18 May 2009
These two volumes are bigger and thicker than you might think. They are packed with information that is helpful to anyone interested in drawing from and capturing life - These lecture notes are very practical and convey a wealth of experience in capturing gesture. Many other books just show the finished product but don't explain how to get there. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in drawing and capturing people and keeping a sketchbook as well as those interested in cartoons and animation. Predominantly black and white line drawings.
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on 16 May 2016
Fantastic book.
Covering all the animation techniques of Disney explaining the methods and motives that are make good use such techniques.
Really it recommended both as a textbook and as a cultural baggage of a company that has made the history of animation.
Recommended along with vol. 1
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on 26 October 2011
Walt Stanchfield writes with great humour and insight . His work will be amazingly useful for artists as well as animators or illustrators. I love his suggestion that to draw a figure thinking only of the anatomy - muscles , bones skin- is to draw in nouns. Instead, he urges we draw in verbs- a leg stretches , an arm sags . Even a small shift in looking and thinking like this will make drawings more alive and expressive.

A book for all artists who draw from life.
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on 7 October 2011
Been looking for this for a while now and caught myself traped in the work of a master in palatable chapters. Don Hahn organised brilliantly the papers of years of classes and precious knowledge acquired from Walt Stanchfield archives in this book. Overviewed and detailed content for animators-to-be, subject by subject, all in a well-humoured pace. A must-read for all those interested in this fascinating art that is Animation. As Mr. Stanchfield himself said: have fun!
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on 8 September 2011
SImply put:
if you're a visual art professional YOU MUST BUY THIS BOOK.
It's one of the most clear,complete and insightful analysis on animation and gesture drawing.
Each chapter is pretty short and easy to read and there's plenty of examples and references from amazing Disney artists.
10 out of 10
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on 4 August 2014
Wonderful book full of fantastic things to learn and look at!
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